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Landfill closed in one of state's largest efforts

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By James Roberts

While it may be one of the largest landfill closures in state history, the City of Campbellsville didn't spend a dime to close its Red Fern Road site.

The $7.5 million effort to close the City's landfill was expected to wrap up last week, according to Bill Hall, landfill manager. The completion brings to a close a 25-year effort.

The landfill hasn't been used since 1982 and the City has tried to close it ever since.

"We've sent off request after request and they were coming back way more than the City could afford."

However, the City caught a break when the state opted to use PRIDE money to fully-fund the closure.

The PRIDE program is funded through a $25 million bond issue and a $1.75 per ton fee for solid waste disposal. Campbellsville's landfill is among several being closed throughout the state.

Hall said the state was looking at landfills that needed to be closed in cities that couldn't afford to close them.

"This was the largest landfill closing the state has done," Hall said.

The closure took place in two phases.

Phase I, which began last summer, involved moving about 1 million cubic yards of waste and soil to condense the size of the landfill from 52 acres to 32 acres. The landfill is on a 136-acre piece property. A wildlife pond was also built in the 10-acre hole from where a smaller portion of the landfill was moved. Gas vents and a leachate collection system were also installed. Leachate, a common byproduct of landfills, occurs when water permeates the ground, mixing with products of decomposition, chemicals and other materials in the waste. An intermediate cover system will also be installed.

Phase I was completed last November.

Phase II involved capping the landfill and covering it with soil, relocating the access road, re-establishment of buffer zones, upgrading the existing landfill cap and installing security fencing.

Work on Phase II began this past summer. Mount Sterling-based Walker Co. of Kentucky did the work.

Though rainfall caused a few delays, the only problem workers ran into, Hall said last September, was overhead utility wires. The wires had to be moved by Taylor County Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.

Now that the landfill is closed, the site will still have to be monitored.

"We'll have to keep the ground water monitored," Hall said.

That means water samples will be sent to the Division of Water in Frankfort for monthly tests to detect whether chemicals from the landfill are seeping into ground water. He will also continue taking quarterly samples of Owl Creek.

If seepage is detected, Hall said, Walker Co. would have to come back and fix the problem.

So far, though, the tests have showed no signs of seepage.

Ground water runs off the landfill into a well, which is pumped to the City's sewer plant.

While nothing can be built on top of the landfill, there are several options for the 100 acres surrounding the landfill.

"There are several possibilities," Hall said. "We're talking about putting in a gun range for police."

Hall said both City Police and Taylor County Sheriff's Department would use the range.

A ballpark has also been discussed, but Hall said the land is likely too far from town for that to be an option.

- Staff Writer James Roberts can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 226 or by e-mail at writer@cknj.com.